You have to know this book had me at “Fucked up fairy tale”. Pretty much any book that can swear on the cover, in a humorous way, has me.
It helps that I met the author, J.A. Kazimer at last year’s RMFW Colorado Gold conference and got to hear her talk about how this book came to be. But really, the title won me. That was all I needed.
If you remember, Curses was my Must Have book Waaaay back in March. I had Kazimer come on the blog and talk about herself and her book a little and get you all as excited about it as I was.
I got my own copy shortly after that and tore through it.
Since then Kazimer has been showing up all over my periphery, in bookstores, on blogs, in newspapers. The girl is going gang-busters and with good reason.
She tells a good tale.
You don’t need me to tell you that Curses isn’t your ordinary fairy tale re-telling. The title does a fine job of that all on its own. No, this is a fresh story with just enough borrowed from the Grimm brothers to help us keep our footing.
RJ is a villain in trouble. The guild has decided he’s going through an emotional crisis and has stripped him of all his villainous powers. No matter how hard he tries, everything he does turns out good. He can’t help but help people.
So, imagine his annoyance when a beautiful, buxom, “ugly stepsister” breaks into his house and asks him to help solve the mystery of her sister’s death. Everyone’s heard what happened to poor Cinderella, a tragic accident with an oncoming bus. But her step-sister Asia thinks there’s more to it than that.
I’ve heard Curses described as “Shrek for adults”, and while there’s some accuracy to that, it misses the larger, deeper, wicked cleverness of the book. While Shrek was concerned with questions like, “Can an ugly ogre also be a prince charming?”, Curses probes into the true nature of villainy – are villains really bad, or are they just drawn that way?
The Shrek comparison also cheapens Kazimer’s superb writing and lusty undertones.
“Don’t you look before you sit?” The redhead’s lips curved into a frown, which only added to her beauty. She looked like sin, the dirty kind with plenty of sweat and saliva.
Kazimer teases us along this unlikely romance between an “ugly” princess and her villainous knight. Meanwhile she weaves an intriguing mystery, punched up with epic action and saucy banter.
The end result is a fun ride through New Never City and the Kingdom of Maldetto, where we meet assassins, spies, back-stabbers, double-dealers – and all our favorite fairy tale friends as they tear through the story trying to find Cinderella’s killer, or kill the investigator.
Curses: A Fucked Up Fairy Tale is a great fast-paced weekend or late night read. I’m already looking forward to the next book in the series.